Relocating to Devon

I thought I would write on the adventures of moving and relocating house, care home, school, and business. Now where to start!

The first step to planning on such a life changing move was deciding on a location. Easier said than done. We made a list of ten locations with positives and negatives for each area. We did this as a family so that our daughter was fully immersed in the process.

Having settled on locations, we booked a hotel and went to visit them. The next step was to choose the house! That was more challenging as we found people reluctant to sell to us as not regarded as local, even though Colin was born and brought up in Devon. Having met setbacks on several properties we liked we decided to look at new builds, something we hadn’t considered previously.

We looked at three designs of new builds and settled on one due to the build quality and location. Next came the “yes we’d like to buy this” step and were met with challenges over a 28-day exchange. We hadn’t anticipated that! Such a small window of time to exchange but we managed it and secured our new plot. It had its foundations and that was about it! The show home looked amazing though. Now to think about all the other complications and planning to go with this major move.

Now there was the problem of when to hand my notice in at work. I had worked in the NHS for twenty-one years and managed my current department for the last 7 years. My three months notice period had to be timed exactly right. I knew I wasn’t going back to the NHS but wanted to start a new venture using all the skills I have learned over the last 21 years. Avalon Legal Consultancy was formed, and I would share an office and work alongside Colin at Avalon Legal.

Relocating Avalon Legal wasn’t too difficult as the advance in online meetings and appointments helped. We needed an office though and finding one that suited our needs was challenging. Eventually we found our new office location at the Airport Business Centre in Plymouth. Perfect space and location for us and it even has a fantastic café onsite called Al’s Kitchen. The breakfasts and coffee are exceptionally good.

Our property in Surrey was already listed with the estate agent and our accommodation in Devon was sorted but now for schools. Oh yes, the joy of moving schools. Did you know that you only have so many days to accept and start once a school place has been offered? Our new house wouldn’t be ready if we accepted the place, but places are limited. What should we do? Well, we decided to move in with Colin’s parents until our new home is ready for us to move in. This meant we could accept the school place and our daughter could start. We didn’t really think about the coordination of trying to sell our London house and living over two hundred miles away! More challenges!

We now needed to view the school and meet the head teacher. A trip to Devon was needed again. The school was like the one our daughter attended in Surrey, so the transition would hopefully be easier.

The removal men were booked, and all our belongings went into storage. We had to also have a storage unit for things we needed to access for the office and home. On the removal day, it took three hours for the removal company to pack away our belongings onto the lorry and left our house which now felt empty and devoid of any personal affects. We still had the sofas and TV to watch thankfully and beds to sleep in.

We followed our furniture down south one week later and settled into our temporary residence which will be for the next three months.

We now had the task of finding a suitable care home for my relative. This proved difficult as covid stopped some from having visitors or new admissions. Some were not what we wanted and eventually found a lovely nursing home. We then had the planning to sort out for care home to care home transfer! Plus, any equipment that needed to be moved that wouldn’t fit in the transport. A courier was booked for some of the equipment and transport booked for my relative. Now we needed to again drive back to London to ensure the safe transfer of my relative from current care home to the new one.

There is still a lot to organise, but we are all glad we moved down to Devon. Feeling a little tired from our latest travels but looking forward to the future.